What date is the next UK budget?
The date for the 2020 Spring Budget has been revealed: it will take place on 11th March.
The Government’s annual fiscal statement had, under previous Chancellor Philip Hammond, been moved from spring to autumn. However, last year’s general election saw the 2019 Budget cancelled, and so it has reverted back to March this time around.
It means that the Budget announcement will be the first since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, and the first delivered by the newly appointed Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
What’s more, it will be the first Budget of a new parliament, with the Conservative Party now holding a significant majority in the House of Commons. And on top of all that, the Chancellor’s speech will come roughly six weeks after the passing of the Brexit deadline on 31st January.
All these factors point towards the upcoming Spring Budget being particularly important. It is an opportunity for Johnson and his cabinet to set out their vision – financially at least – for the UK over the coming years.
So, what can we expect the Chancellor to unveil in his speech?
1) How will the 2020 budget affect the housing market?
There is rarely a Budget that does not include mention of new-build targets. In fact, the new Conservative government has already promised to deliver a million new homes by 2025.
The Budget will likely include spending commitments to enable it to reach this goal. Importantly, however, throwing money into new-builds will not necessarily result in millions more being built.
At Experience Invest we work closely with property developers and local councils to ensure private investment is made available for much-needed real estate projects. It will be interesting to see if the Government can do more over the coming years to ensure there is greater collaboration between the public and private sectors when it comes to building more new homes across the UK.
2) Will Stamp duty reform feature in the budget?
Stamp duty is another area of suggested change. At one point, Johnson hinted that the tax could be set for a radical overhaul – some suggested that it could be made payable by the seller rather than the buyer.
However, what seems more likely in the Spring Budget is more relief for first-time buyers. At present first-time buyers are exempt from paying tax on any property purchase valued under £300,000 – this might be extended further.
Elsewhere the rates and brackets for stamp duty could be reformed. Indeed, it seems certain that a surcharge will be added to overseas buyers of UK property.
3) Building confidence post-Brexit
The most important objective the Chancellor must achieve on 11th March is to instil confidence in the UK economy. A string of elections, leadership changes and Brexit deadlines have triggered high levels of uncertainty over recent years – it has made consumers, investors and businesses more hesitant when it comes to making financial decisions.
To follow shortly after the Brexit deadline, the Budget is a prime opportunity to provide clarity on the future of the UK’s economic landscape as well as the future of the country’s relationship with the EU. Moreover, it is a chance to inject fresh life into different markets, including the property sector.
From construction and renovation through to first-time buyers and seasoned investors, the Budget must address the needs of the groups that prop up the real estate industry. One thing is for certain: all eyes will certainly be fixed on the Chancellor and his iconic red briefcase in March.